Monday, February 28, 2011

project organization

Joel and I are talking of moving.

Where to?  Still up in the air....some place closer to his place of work...but needs to pretty much be everything we want in a home.  Because of our tall order, we sort of wait & wait.  We have owned 1 house previous to the one we are in - while we love THIS house, we so miss the space of a big old house.

In trying to not feel like I'm being suffocated in my home, I'm doing some major reorganization.  I'm throwing away things we don't use.  I'm giving away items that have value but no longer to us.

It feels awesome.

Just got our shelving units done upstairs - SO glad these babies have less weight on them than they did...I was afraid they would be falling to the ground any minute.

Our next project  is to take this little pitiful area in our basement turn it into our pantry.  I want it to be fresh, clean, white & inviting.  I want it to be brimming with bottled water, canned goods, & staples for emergencies.  It will take time but I promise to post the AFTER pic.

Spring is coming, friends....what projects are you tackling?

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Yesterday started with a surprising phone call at 5:30am from our school district.

I loved it.  It felt like when I was in school and the greatest feeling known to man was that I could go back to bed...having no obligations all day long. 

Joel tried to head into work - ended up turning around and working from home.  The 30 minute 'normal' drive would have been close to 2 hours if he had tried it.

It was hilarious to see these boys be kept from their Dad so he could work.  Leland would inevitably sneak over to Joel's office and tap on his back to blow him a quick kiss.  Sweet.

Jude surprised us all by taking my request of him to 'go and get dressed' as permission to be dressed as Darth Vader all day long. 

I loved this day. 

Happy Weekend one & all...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


If you know me, you know I am into the reality of all things: relationships, design, art

I don't like anything if its going to be fake, duplicated or manipulated.

I am surrounded by massively created people.  Like seriously...CREATIVE people with gifts deep & wide.  It's sometimes a little intimidating because the talents range from culinary interior film's ridiculous this crazy little city called Cleveland, OH could have SO much to offer.

I am not in blogland to make money.  It's simply an outlet.  It's simply a way to know more about others while allowing others to have a peek into me.

I have to say, though, one of my good friends - a jewelry designer has a spring collection I'm drooling over.  I am in love with each piece and think she might just be having kind of a busy summer with how creative she was in putting each piece together. Not to mention adding a new baby to the mix of her accessories as well...

Take a look at Océanne

Photography from Pazza Photo (Dasha Slobozhanina)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


What is it about Target?

Why is it the 'Cedar Point' of errands to run?

I mean it could be sleeting, hailing and I could have a swollen toe and I'd still look forward to a stop there...

We went today.  Random list of things we needed.  We wanted to bake cookies...needed trash bags...etc.

As we prepared to check out, I noticed quite a long line at each of the open registers...except for one.  It was her!  The woman I met just before Christmas.  The "hearing impaired' woman!

I remembered back to my 8:30pm run on the day before Christmas eve...fresh out of tape and twine....I made the quick stop at Target and saw this sign "Cashier is Hearing Impaired" and I remembered reading it thinking, "That is awesome! I will totally go in her line!"

This same woman...with her smile and beautiful eyes...was waiting for someone to choose her line.  My lads and I stepped up to the belt, put our items on, she scanned, I kept Leland from climbing out of the cart for the 14th time, and ran my card through the slot.

What I found MOST interesting was that, although, there was a supposed WARNING or sort of a 'BEWARE OF CASHIER' feeling given by the sign...I felt she honestly communicated more than the average cashier would.  She waved at the baby...he clapped his hands for her....she giggled....she gave Jude a high-five.  She handed my receipt to me and whispered "Thank you" as we went to leave.  She just might be my favorite girl at my favorite store.

I could not help but think as I loaded my items in the car how much she said to us. I'm certain that this is a big deal for her to have a job in a world where there is little mercy given...a world where convenience and speed is viewed as most important.  I love how much she said without saying anything.  I love how grateful she seemed to be given a chance.  I loved how my sons didn't even notice her impairment.  I bet she doesn't realize how much she told us today...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

hot dates

It seems like these days, going out on a hot date is something to be coveted.

I mean, I can't tell you the amount of times I have wanted to go out but with the rising cost of babysitting...or just plain ole 'unavailability' of sitters, those desires sometimes go unmet.

Joel and I have really, truly uncovered some wonderful ways around this.  We have been perfecting the lost art of simply enjoying a meal we both took the time to create.

vegan stuffed green peppers
What could be better than chopping vegetables while laughing over something that happened with the boys?  What is better than tasting eachother's food and giving the 'Giada' look as we delight in whatever has been achieved.
white-chocolate dipped lemon biscotti

Joel got me this book for Valentine's Day - I think it's going to take these nights to the next level.  BIG thanks to Christine for her suggestion...
from my valentine
We are now seeking the perfect dutch we can start our first homemade bread together... oh and we also need to learn to poach an egg just right!  Picture Amy Adams in Julie & Julia! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

this word = blows my mind

done with intention or on purpose; intended: an intentional insult.
of or pertaining to intention or purpose.

1.  designed, planned.
This word has been spoken often in my circle as of late. 
Not sure it is just the 'latest' cool word to throw about or if what I'm hearing is really the culmination of what human beings truly crave. 
Here we are. 
Craving authentic friendships. 
Yet we all struggle. 
Insecurities - Politics - Expectations
All of those stand in the way. 
Yet truth about who we are says we are to be people of intention.  We are to wake up with intention to love ourselves - others - God, first & foremost. 
Yet, we keep thoughts & even compliments hidden - perhaps for fear of seeming weak or desperate.  If only we knew the power it would evoke if we simply spoke with intention.  

Just recently during a conversation with a friend, I was told some really kind things.  Thoughts she had about me - towards me - they were so uplifting.  I am one of those 'affirmation' people.  It comes easy as I'm a major 'observer' and I like to tell people what I like about them.  It's also relevant of what I like in return. 
kindness is strength so be nice  ~ xo
I guess life with intention can yield a great return.  (marriages, parenting, & any relationships for that matter)  It's about NOT having to 'need' the attention - but choosing to focus the attention elsewhere.  It's refreshing.  It's simply selfless.  

DISCLAIMER: There is a HUGE difference between genuine affirmation and flattery.  HUGE!  
Flattery = :-(

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

i am woman.

After a really great weekend - spent at a marriage getaway our church held - we came away with tons of great knowledge.  Some for the first time, others just really great reminders.

One thing I realized - and perhaps this is why so many women blog these days - is the sheer quantity of thoughts a woman undergoes in a given day.

Call me crazy but I just didn't think men were THAT different in this area.

What was insane to me was to really take an indepth look at this: I will process hundreds of thoughts in a given day, dozens of them simultaneously & many of them unwarranted and even unwanted!

So no wonder when a relationship issue comes kills our task list because it can eat away in our mind....or even a past will almost disable our ability to accomplish what we may have set out to do.

What I also realized was how important it was for my husband to understand this - so that he doesn't think I'm a total psycho. 

I'm a woman.  I'm wired this way.

What is even more interesting is the power Joel (or any of your husbands) have in helping to reassure us of our place...our significance...our meaning.  THAT is what separates the boys from the men.  The 'roomates' from the companions...and the passive from the heroes.
little did we know all we would learn after this day...


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Joel and I really do not look at V Day like it's this uber special day to celebrate our love.  We always do something....but nothing huge.

Something about the season of life we're entering, though, I believe caused us both to utilize the weekend for romance & an excuse for delicious food.

A few months ago, Joel and I tried L'Albatros - french cuisine at its finest (so we'd heard) 

We tried it for ourselves and our experience was nothing short of magical.  We sat there, amazed by the food, but brilliantly blown away by the service.  We said to ourselves, 'This is OUR place.  We cannot come here too often....let's keep it special." 

Well, we have now been there 3 times since October because we can't handle how complex & rich the food is. 

Last night, we stuck to some favorites - decided to try the Frisee & Bacon Lardons with Poached Egg.  We could barely speak as we ate this delicious salad.  It's crunchy yet savory quality made something that is supposed to simply be a 'starter' truly so very satisfying. 

 We had a to wait a bit longer for our table but we didn't mind...they went around handing out sparkling champagne for any inconvenience it caused...and when we were told we probably wouldn't get into the room we had requested, we were then surprised with an opening in a lovely part of the was perfect.
we sat right there!

I hope you made a memory with someone you love.  If not on Valentine's Day....then every other day.


Monday, February 14, 2011

definition of LOVE

  Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
   Love doesn't strut,
   Doesn't have a swelled head,
   Doesn't force itself on others,
   Isn't always "me first,"
   Doesn't fly off the handle,
   Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn't revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end.

Friday, February 11, 2011



1. Behavior that causes discomfiture or annoyance in another.
2. An inclination or tendency to play pranks or cause embarrassment.
3. One that causes minor trouble or disturbance: The child was a mischief in school.
4. Damage, destruction, or injury caused by a specific person or thing: The broken window was the mischief of vandals.
5. The state or quality of being mischievous.
This child is full of mischief. 

In a given 10 minute period, he will have the entire contents of a bathroom drawer emptied and all around him. 

By the time I realize how 'quiet' it seems, I will find this boy pulling out each diaper from his changing table and put them into his crib. 

He will, in a matter of moments, climb into drawers, cabinets, and even our oven warmer (when turned off). 

His favorite things are appliances. 
Hiding in them, climbing in them, & just simply removing their contents.
He is a toothbrush stealer.
A crayon-chewer.
A chalk-hoarder.
Jude has discovered a new grace about him to simply take a deep breath when the freshly-cleaned room is now littered with toys all over his floor.  I'm proud of that big brother. 
A few nights ago, I took the boys to Barnes & Noble.  It was the typical scene.  Jude was reading books quietly & Leland was walking around...taking books to strangers and indicating he'd like these perfect strangers to read them.  As I would kindly try to apologize, these lovely people would begin the book when all of a sudden my cute little peanut would pass gas like a 70-yr old man. 

I have this feeling he is going to always be the kid with plenty of stories to tell. 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


List of Words my Leland can say 'somewhat' clearly:

Blue's Clue's (kind of)

He understands like a kajillion more words - I'm just so amazed.  I mean I have a 5 year old but I just don't think I was paying near enough attention to what Jude was saying at 15 months.  

So proud of this little dude and his talking skills. 

The mischief, however, a whole other blog post - coming Tomorrow!  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

truth in friendship

get this sweet poster here

May my friendships always be
A truly vital & important thing to me;

With special friends I feel I'm blessed,
So let me give my very best.

I want to do much more than share
The hopes and plans of friends who care;

Let me use my heart to see,
To realize what friends can be,

And make no judgments from afar,
But love my friends the way they are.

Monday, February 7, 2011

free lovin'

I <3 blog land

So much so that I was actually enticed to be done with the old 'gimmick' valentines that are a dime a dozen (literally) and use something I truly LOVED.

How cute are these?  Feel free to utilize the awesome bargain via One Charming Party here.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

i love raising sons

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.  Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass."  "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply.  "We're raising boys." ~Harmon Killebrew
nothing like a good game of 'connect 4' after breakfast

yes, that is Leland standing on the dining room table.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

artist...who me?

Photo by Dan O'Keefe
 What does it mean to have a fear of failure? 
For me, it meant "try nothing new so that you can't screw it up." 
I remember growing up it was as simple as a bunch of friends wanting to introduce me to a new card game - but I had little interest since 'they all knew how to play' and I would most likely do poorly. 

I spent much of my childhood as a mature child.  An only child.  Around adults.  It can sort of create a superiority complex - leading you to believe that if others saw you fail, it would be BIG.  It would be bad. 

So, on I went through Jr. High & High School doing what I KNEW I could do.  I enjoyed that life and nothing was even remotely wrong with it. 

Then I got married. 

I didn't realize the sheer talent in the man to whom I said, "I do."  Mostly because his humility was more in sight than his gifts.  I knew he could play a guitar.  I knew he could sing.  I had 'no idea' the depth to those gifts. 

In fact, in just our first 6 months - here is what I discovered about him:

1-He is a phenomenal photographer (not for work just cuz he loves it) 
2-He is the most brilliant & intelligent song writer I've ever heard of. 
3-He has a fantastic sensibility about him - he has really good taste in music, clothing, style, and even home decor. 

That is ALOT to 'not' know about someone until after you wed. 

2010 was sort of the reverse for us.  It was time I learned a new thing or two about art.  It was time that I believed in the depth that lied within me - so easily brought out of me by my husband. 

A few years back, a new friend entered my life.  There are more purposes to this friendship than I can share.  All I can say is that it changed me.  I saw life a little sweeter and I experienced someone truly pull something out of me (besides Joel) 

She is a fantastic make up artist -she has taught me a TON about the art & about the industry itself.  She and I spent a good portion of this last year together creating a business that would both be a blast....make us some extra cash...and truly do what we were born to do:  Help women discover beauty that they had not yet seen.  

I'm thrilled to work with this lady for years to come and see how the business changes and evolves.  For now, I'm excited to share a few images from some work I had the chance to do with Kajal by Kimberly.  


photo by Laura Dye Photography

Photo by ZMedia

Photo by Zmedia
Photo by Dan O'Keefe

Attack Cat Photo Shoot - Laura Dye Photography

Photo by Dan O'Keefe

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

just the day we needed

We've been too busy. 
Like "I feel guilty alot' kind of busy.
Like "I'm being a bad mom kind of busy."

We're working on balance but you know how that goes.  
One week it works, the next it goes out the window.  

I'm craving that time again where I am working out each day, with time to watch my sons grow up...laugh and play with them without hurrying onto the next task. 

Today was one of those days - we were 'iced in' - it was wonderful.